Chattanooga, TN (5/30/21)
Corey Taylor is standing front and center of the stage and singing “So you thought you’d might like to go to a show?” from the classic Pink Floyd song “In The Flesh”. No better words were ever sung to kick off a concert especially with all things considered. Yes, it was THE Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour fame, singing those lyrics as well as gracing the stage of The Signal on this night. With his critically acclaimed solo album CMFT out and of course the buzz that his livestream generated, the time finally came for Corey and his band to hit the road for some real live in person performances.
Instead of going over the top and hitting arenas, he decided to bring it to his fans face to face in much smaller intimate venues. The Signal in Chattanooga Tennessee was a perfect fit. It was set up to allow for social distancing. yet it still gave the feel and energy that could bring life to a big-time rock show. Eschewing the traditional opening act, Corey Taylor decided to bring along The Cherry Bombs, a rock n’ roll cabaret featuring dancers, aerialists, as well cirque acts.
With the sold-out crowd on edge, no one knew what to expect from The Cherry Bombs, well except those that caught the livestream or who have seen them previously. Under dim lights the first of what would be many vignettes started. The whole troupe came out masked and danced to some high-octane rock n roll. In between group numbers on the stage, aerialists would take to the ropes and scarves out in front of the stage to wow the crowd. While they are also known to perform with fire, due to venue restrictions, they would be unable to show that part of their act to the crowd. But they were able to work around things and put on a highly entertaining forty-five-minute performance.
With the oversized lit up letters C M F T split by a drum kit in the back of the stage, as well as a championship belt emblazoned on the kick drum, there was no question who was about to take the stage. Finally, it was time for the man of the hour, Corey Taylor and his band to take the stage. With the crowd cheering, Corey made his way to the front of the stage and waved to everyone implying that he wanted even more cheering. After all this is a rock show, and it wouldn’t be a rock show without a crowd working on a sore throat for the next day.
The band finally launched into the all too familiar notes of Pink Floyds hit song “In The Flesh”. What a perfect cover song to start this concert. Yes, this was a real live in the flesh show. Instead of continuing through and playing the whole song, they turned it into a medley and halfway through they launched into “HWY 666” the lead track off of Corey’s solo album. The galloping beat and raucous feel put the stamp on this show, that tonight was going to be a wild ride. Corey and his band kept the pedal to the metal and played “Meine Lux” and “Halfway Down”, also off of CMFT. In between those two numbers he let everyone know how happy he was that they could get back to touring and out in front of audiences. Seeing that some parents even brought their kids, he laughingly told them not to use any language that he was going to use.
With an absolute hit album under his belt, Corey could have easily just stuck to it, and this would be a successful night. But when you are also the front man of not one but two massive bands, he had to play some material from those bands as well. Stone Sour material figured heavily into the night. The first of those songs would be “The Travelers PT. 1” and “Tired”. In between all of this Corey took time to introduce his band the Morning Dudes. Featuring his Stone Sour side man and guitarist Christian Martucci, fellow guitarist Zack Throne, bassist Jason Christopher, and drummer Dustin Robert.
At one point in the show the band took a quick break and the crew brought out a stool. Corey came back out armed with an acoustic guitar, he said to the audience that when he was gearing up for this tour, he wanted to play some songs that he hadn’t played in a long while. With that he launched into the Slipknot hit song “Snuff”. With just Corey on guitar and the crowd singing along, this was one of those moments that make live music so very special. With perfect timing the band came out to bring it home. As he still had his acoustic guitar, they flowed perfectly into the Stone Sour song “Taciturn”.
When the crew brought out a keyboard, no one knew what to expect. As Corey took to the bench, he put on his megawatt smile and with gusto yelled “Are you ready kids? I can’t hear you?” and he launched into the theme of SpongeBob Square Pants. With the audience quickly joining in on the fun, Corey quickly stopped and said do you think I’m going to waste my voice on SpongeBob and playfully flipped off the crowd, which caused everyone to laugh. With ease he became serious and gave the audience a heartfelt introduction to the next song, telling everyone he wrote it for his wife and gave her credit for turning his life around. With that he launched into a beautiful version of “Home”. If lighters were still a thing, they would have been held high for sure.
Sticking with a more laid-back tone, hit songs “Black Eyes Blues”, “Bother” and “Through Glass” were played, and of course everyone sang along to these favorites. With the usual intermission come and gone, it was time to shift back into party mode. As they aren’t afraid to dip into the library of other bands and play a cover song. Tonight, the John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band mega hit “On The Dark Side” brought the party back to life. The last song of the night was “CMFT Must Be Stopped”. With The Cherry Bombs joining the band on stage dancing along while dressed in animal costumes this added the perfect touch for the party that was going tonight.
With all that has transpired over the last year and a half, no one knew what to expect when or if the dust would clear. Would all that has happened, and the advent of the livestream cause the death of the rock show? Leave it to Corey Taylor and The Morning Dudes to show that the rock show is very much alive and just as exciting as ever. Over the course of the night, they gave everything they had to a wildly appreciative audience. In other words, this was the perfect return of the live concert. Long live rock!
- In the Flesh?/HWY 666
- Meine Lux
- Halfway Down
- The Travelers, Pt. 1 (Stone Sour)
- Tired (Stone Sour)
- Samantha’s Gone
- Lunatic Fringe (Red Rider)
- Song #3 (Stone Sour)
- Snuff (Slipknot)
- Taciturn (Stone Sour)
- Made Of Scars (Stone Sour)
- Culture Head
- Zzyzx Rd. (Stone Sour)
- Black Eyes Blue
- Bother (stone Sour)
- Through Glass (Stone Sour)
- On The Dark Side (John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band)
- European Tour Bus Bathroom Song
- The Travelers Pt. 2 (Stone Sour)
- CMFT Must Be Stopped